Tarot – scary devil cards or a tool for self-analysis?

Laying the cards out

This weekend, Saturday 17th June 2017, I am running a short two hour introductory Tarot Taster workshop. The workshop is designed to help you connect with the cards and to remove the fear and superstition that surrounds them.

I know so many people who are terrified of these cards and others who are simply wary of them. I felt that way myself when I first heard of the Tarot. It had been drummed into me that they were devil cards and I should avoid them at all costs!

I have since discovered that this is nothing more than scare-mongering and fear tactics! The Tarot are simply cards with images on them – so long as you work from a place of love and light and treat them as a tool to answer your questions then you cannot go wrong.

Tarot cards provide an objective tool in the pursuit of self-analysis. The cards never lie – you get what you get. Many people turn to the Tarot because of its archetypal significance and symbolism. It allows you the chance to develop your own choices and journey in life and brings a greater awareness of your sense of purpose and destiny.

The cards are timeless and symbolic. They help you look at situations in your life in new and different ways. The Tarot can inspire, educate and guide you on your journey through life. It can also bring you closer to the spiritual and intuitive side of your nature. You are tapping into the energy of the moment and your own psyche when you read the cards – this is an amazingly empowering tool for self-awareness and self-development.

The seemingly random choice of cards at any one moment is a powerful signifier of the meaning of that moment. You are tapping into the collective consciousness of your higher self and the universe. It is almost like the cards pick you.

All of us project unconscious issues on to objects which are in the physical environment around us. We perceive our reality through the lens of our own nature, through our thoughts. We therefore similarly project our inner issues on to each Tarot card. However there is a message in every symbol and a meaning behind every image in the Tarot.

The Tarot awakens us to the powerful patterns of human nature and gives us answers and solutions that we subconsciously already knew but didn’t see before.

Your future is not set in stone. You have free will and your future will change depending on the choices you make each day. The Tarot can certainly give an indication of what may lie ahead for you if you stay on the current path but you should not give away your power to the cards by relying on them to tell your future.

It is my mission to try and dispel some of the myths and fear that surround the Tarot, as well as help people to use the cards for themselves. I recently wrote a book called “Rocks n Rituals Tarot Tales“. The book was designed to help you learn the Tarot easily and many people have found it very useful in helping them recall the cards.

Learning the Tarot relies on your natural human ability to recall stories. The best Tarot readers can look at the cards and tell a story from them, rather than reciting static meanings from a book. In the book, I have used my personal Tarot reading experience in order to help you use your intuition to decipher the meanings of the cards. Why not check it out – you can even take a free look inside via Amazon.

 

You can learn to become a respected and light-filled reader who people come to again and again for helpful guidance and advice. This is why I run both introductory workshops, online courses and in-person classes to help you develop this skill.

If you need help, guidance and support with your Tarot journey you are very welcome to connect with me via Facebook or get in touch with your questions by commenting below.

Enjoy your Tarot journey and lose the fear!

The importance of self care

Woman relaxing by a lake

When was the last time you took time out of your schedule to look after yourself? I mean REALLY look after yourself?

We are all busy and we tend to run around making sure everyone else is OK – it is easy to forget about ourselves.

As a single working mum I know that I am always on the go – making sure the kids have what they need for school, making meals, sorting the housework, keeping the garden tidy, ensuring homework is done, being a taxi driver ferrying them to and from their social engagements, doing the laundry (the never-ending laundry – how do we go through so many clothes?!), caring for my elderly mother, being in a committed relationship … oh and running a full-time business while I am at it!

I often find myself under pressure but I don’t allow my hectic schedule to get in the way of my self care because if I don’t look after myself then I am no use to anyone else.

What use am I as a mum if I am too tired to interact with my kids?
What use am I as a daughter if I have no energy to care for my elderly mum?
What use am I as a friend if I have no time to go for a coffee and a chat?
What use am I as a girlfriend if I am to stressed from work to relax and enjoy date night?
What use am I as your therapist if I don’t walk my talk and look after myself?

When I don’t look after myself my energy levels start to dip, my sleep pattern gets disrupted, my healthy eating habits go out the window, my stress levels go up and I find myself spiralling towards the big black pit of depression that I took so long to get out of.

Why do we find it so difficult to take proper time out for ourselves?

I don’t know about you, but it seems so much easier to fall back into old habits when we are stressed or under pressure rather than taking time out for self-care doesn’t it?

I promise you though, whilst it seems counter-intuitive to slow down and take time out when you are under pressure, it really does work.

When you slow down and give yourself a break you diffuse the time bomb that is going to go off. You recharge your batteries – I mean come on .. you recharge your phone every day don’t you? You don’t expect it to just go on and on and on without a recharge?

There are lots of ways to incorporate self-care into your schedule – go for a walk on your lunch break rather than sitting in the staff room, have an early night and read your favourite book, savour your coffee break rather than gossiping with colleagues, get some exercise, look after your nutrition, take a few minutes each morning to meditate and set a positive intention for the day, say yes to that invite from an old friend for a chat, pick up the phone and ring a friend rather than texting … the list could go on and on.

I would also advocate that you take an hour at least once a month and treat yourself to a lovely time out. For me, I go and have acupuncture and energy clearing work done once a month as my special treat. I really look forward to that hour where I am the one on the massage table being treated rather than the other way round! It gives me something to look forward to and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

So I will ask again – when was the last time you took time for self-care? When was the last time you had a massage or a Reiki session or reflexology or acupuncture …. or a facial, your nails done, your hair done?

Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. By taking time to take care of yourself you are subconsciously giving other people permission to do the same – and this will spread a ripple of self care and love throughout your world. How wonderful eh?!

Let me know how you take care of yourself by leaving a comment or connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Namaste

 

Time to recharge the batteries?

Sunset and person lying in a hammock over the sea

Have you ever felt like you needed to press the reset button on your life? Or maybe you’ve felt drained, tired or lethargic.  Would you like to feel restored, balanced and refreshed?

Introducing Rocks n Rituals Recharge – my new signature therapy which is now available.

What is Recharge?

Recharge is a combination of deeply relaxing meditation, Reiki and crystal healing all rolled into one neat package. It is an hour and a half of blissful relaxation where your body can heal itself from the stresses and strains of modern life.

I came up with the idea to combine several therapies because quite a few clients couldn’t choose between angel healing, meditation, crystals or Reiki sessions with me and they asked which one was the best for restoring lost energy and re-balancing the system.

As a Reiki Master and Certified Crystal Healer I would often plump for Reiki or crystals as my go to therapy when someone asked that question but I am also a meditation teacher and I work with the angels too so I know how powerful all these sessions can be!

What’s involved?

The session begins with you arriving and having a short chat with me about what is currently going on in your life and how you are feeling. This helps you to get things off your chest so that you can fully relax during the session.

Next we work together to set a positive intention for the healing to take place and you lie on the massage table, fully clothed except for your shoes, and I place a cosy blanket over you to keep you nice and warm.

I then take you through a lovely guided visualisation to help you relax your body and mind so that you are open and receptive to the Reiki healing energy which will then be channelled through your system. I will also call upon the angels at this point, if you wish, to seek their assistance during the session.

Following your Reiki session I will gently lay crystals on and around your body. Your system will already be energised and cleared by the Reiki so the crystals will act to further balance and clear the chakras, leaving you feeling refreshed and restored.

I will leave you to relax with the crystals in place for 20 minutes and will then return to remove the crystals and work to ground and centre you before the session ends.

You will be offered a glass of water and will have time to have a chat and to get some feedback on the session before you leave to go about your day.

How does it work?

When the human body is totally relaxed it is able to heal itself. We often run about in a state of perpetual stress and our bodies can never take the time to heal. By totally relaxing the mind, body & spirit during the initial guided visualisation you are setting the stage for total healing to take place.

You are an energetic being, with your own subtle vibration. Everything in the universe vibrates and everything is made up of energy.

Reiki energy is of an extremely high vibration and blasts through blocks in your energy field with ease. It is a powerful energy yet works in a gentle manner so that you always get just as much as you need in order to facilitate healing.

The crystals all have their own vibration and they work to restore balance in your system. In this therapy session you will already have had a Reiki session by the time the crystals are laid on your body so they will act to seal in the energy and provide a boost of energy for you (hence the “recharge”!)

At the end of all energy healing sessions it is important to ground your energy so that you can function normally on the physical plane. You will need to take the time to come back into the room and into your body after such a powerful energy session and I will work with you to ensure you are totally grounded before you leave.

Sound good?

A recent client arrived for her appointment feeling totally stressed and left feeling completely chilled out with a little buzz of energy coursing around her system. I love to see the transformation and really enjoy working with these therapies to help my clients. Would you like to try it out for yourself?

Price and booking information

For the month of May 2017 I have a special introductory offer on – the session is priced at just £30. You can book your session by using my online booking service – click here to access the system.

The normal price will be £40 so please do avail of this reduction now before all my appointment slots fill up!

Distance work

I am based in Bangor, Northern Ireland – I know that not everyone can visit me in person to have this session carried out so I am able to offer it at distance as well. That is the beauty of energy healing and modern technology!

During a distance session we will arrange a time for your session just as we would if you were coming to see me in person. At the allotted time I will call you via Skype and we will carry out the initial consultation and intention setting work.

I will then channel Reiki healing at distance for you and then use a crystal grid to send crystal healing to you. During this time you should be somewhere where you can relax without being disturbed – I recommend that you light some candles and play soft music. I will then end the session and contact you again by Skype to carry out the grounding work and we can have a chat together about how it went.

I am also finalising work on a download which you can use during the Reiki and crystal healing part of the distance session which will help you remain focused and aware of what is going on.

More details about the distance work will be made available very soon and if you would like to be kept informed about it then please leave me your email address in the comments box, email me at debibarr@rocksnrituals.co.uk or pm me via Facebook.

Do you have questions?

I’d love to hear from you and connect with you. Please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch via social media.

I wish you love, light and blessings.

Namaste.

Failure is temporary – giving up is permanent!

Believe in yourself

I keep a gratitude journal and the little diary I am using this year has some beautiful and uplifting quotes written for each day. Today’s was: –

“Failure is temporary but giving up is permanent.”

It really resonated with me and struck a chord. I am not going to lie, things have been difficult recently. I have found myself preoccupied with financial concerns and worries about my children’s future.

Despite working really hard on lots of projects over the last few months, the money just isn’t coming in at the moment and I have, if truth be known, considered throwing in the towel with my business.

I started to think that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be and that I should just go back to working for someone else in order to be guaranteed a decent income.

Every time I have these thoughts I just want to cry. I know that I would be so unhappy being back in corporate land working 9-5 again. I have worked long and hard to be able to run my own business and it breaks my heart to think I would have to give it all up.

But still the thoughts come in – rationally I need to earn more money and if the business is not providing the income then I will have to look elsewhere. Simple.

Not simple at all. Is earning a decent wage enough reason to make myself unhappy? How would I enjoy the money if I was too sick and stressed from working somewhere I didn’t really want to be?

Emotionally, mentally and spiritually I know that I am fulfilling my life’s purpose by running my business and helping people transform their lives. I know that my training courses are excellent value for money and that they work. Physically, or rather, materially, the business is struggling just at the moment.

I have to have faith that things will come good again. I know I am good at what I do and I know that the work I have put in will pay off soon. I have to hold on to what I believe in and walk my talk now. I have to believe that the universe is an inherently abundant place and that I have more than enough.

It’s hard though to stay upbeat and positive – but perhaps that is my test?!

One of my clients hugged me today and said “I am so glad I found you!” – I almost cried. I had been pondering whether to put out a notice saying the business was closing down and then this happened. I thought about all the people I have helped over the years and all the people who I have served.  It occurred to me that if I closed down the business then I would no longer be able to help those people or anyone else!

My life is amazing and I am really happy to be able to be myself and get paid for what I love to do. I needed the reminder that just because some projects have failed to get off the ground, it doesn’t mean that I should give up.

Failure is a temporary state. If I give up then it makes that state permanent and I do not want to be a permanent failure. I am going to carry on and welcome in all help from the universe in whatever way it comes – perhaps it is time to stop worrying about how it will happen and just trust that it will!

I thought I would share these thoughts with you today. Perhaps you needed to hear this too and it may help you in some way. I would love to hear from you – how do you push yourself forward and keep going when things get tough?

If you would like to learn more about me and my business please visit my website, www.rocksnrituals.co.uk.

 

10 ways to achieve a good work/life balance for small business owners

Image of computer for work life balance

When I was working full time for an employer I used to dream of being my own boss and running my own business. I had the romantic notion in my head that I would set my own schedule and have no stress and no “big brother” watching me. I imagined being able to see some clients, do some work and then have plenty of free time to do what I wanted to do.

Boy did I have a shock when I went self-employed! It is hard work and nobody really tells you about the stress of having to bring in the business and pay all the bills yourself!

I found myself still working on marketing plans and business promotions at midnight, answering client emails or Facebook messages at random times of the day or night, not having any down time where I wasn’t in work mode and to be honest – I was stressed! Not good when I was the stress management counsellor people were coming to see!

It is still one of the best things I ever did though! I have since managed to find a way to run my business effectively and incorporate a healthy work/life balance. I had to take my own advice and learn to walk my talk so I thought I would pop a few pointers down for you to help you manage your time effectively so that you too can achieve a good balance.

Planning is vital!

When you work from home or if you are running a small business then it is vital to plan how you will use your time. If you fail to do this then you run the risk of getting side-tracked and then nothing will get done. It is often helpful to take 10 minutes the night before and work out a rough plan for the next day. I do this each evening and it helps me to sleep because I know I have a plan in place. I also spend some time each morning setting my intention for a positive and smooth running day.

Get out your diary or weekly planner and let’s get started!

1. Set your working hours for the week (and stick to them!)

This is important. As a small business owner who works from home I know the danger of not being disciplined in my working hours. It is really easy to look at my diary and see that I have no clients booked in and then take the day off completely.

Look at the hours you want to set aside for work and put them in your diary. For example – I don’t like to work on Mondays because I work Saturdays so rather than force myself to stick to traditional patterns I decided that Mondays were a non-working day for me. I also wanted to keep Fridays free so that I could do some other non-business tasks that kept my soul happy. I therefore set my working hours as follows: –

Tuesdays 9:30am – 4pm
Wednesdays & Thursdays 9:30am – 9:00pm
Saturdays 9:30am – 5pm

2. Book in the non-negotiable things

We all have things that we need to do such as eat, sleep, play, etc. It is vital that you book these things into your weekly planner, otherwise you will only have work-related items in there and your balance will be off.

So, in my example I don’t start work until 9:30am on the days that I have scheduled for business-related activities. This means that between 6:30am when the alarm goes off and 9:30am when I start work, I can fit in my non-negotiables – my morning bathroom routine, breakfast with my children, the school run and my daily meditation/Reiki practice.

I also ensure that each day I create a lunch break for myself (even if it is only for 20 minutes depending on my client load) and a dinner break if I am working until 9pm. You cannot give from an empty vessel so make sure you take breaks for food and water!

On Mondays, I use the time to help my elderly mum with some shopping, I go to Qi Gong, do my housework, see friends and I plan my weekly business activities so that I know what I am doing the rest of the week. On Fridays I book my personal appointments, go walking or paint. This keeps my soul happy and I allow myself, particularly on Fridays, to be completely out of work mode. Sundays have always been a private day for me and I have often turned down work so that I can dedicate this day for my partner and family.

3. Book in your work to the time that you have available

Look at the things you have on your to do list. What is the most important thing on your list? Note that I said important, not urgent – there is a world of difference between important and urgent.

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.

Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention. These are the to-do’s that shout “Now!” Urgent tasks put us in a reactive mode, one marked by a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly-focused mindset.

Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they’re not. When we focus on important activities we operate in a responsive mode, which helps us remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.

Your diary or to do list should therefore be mainly full of the important things.

4. Check that your tasks are in alignment with your mission

Why do you do what you do? What does your business do – who do you serve and what is your mission? It is important that you can clearly answer these questions.

Once you know your mission then look at the things on your to do list – are they in alignment with that mission? In other words do they take you closer to your goals or do they lead you away from them? Make sure you only schedule time in your diary for tasks and projects that help move you towards your goals.

5. Do not plan more than 90 days ahead

It is tempting to try and come up with a plan for your year. I am sure you have heard of people creating their annual business plan or marketing plan. The human mind loses interest if we plan too far ahead. I suggest breaking your year into 4 quarters and setting up quarterly plans.

I create a 90 day plan with an overall outcome that I want to achieve. The outcome must be measurable so that I know I have achieved it so I will often use revenue as a marker. For example I may state that I want an overall outcome of 25% increase in revenue from last quarter.

I then look at my outcome goal and think about what projects or plans that I need to work on in order to achieve it. So in order to increase revenue I may need to create a project to bring in more client appointments. OK, so how can I do that? I then need to think about how to promote myself in order to get more clients through the door – so I may set up a Facebook advertising campaign to promote one of my therapy special offers or I may need to create a new package of services and then work to sell them.

Within each project then I break down the steps that I need to take. This then forms my 90 day plan and I go to my diary and block in the time. If it is not scheduled it won’t get done!

6. Leave buffer time

Make sure that you leave time in your diary for unexpected things. I call this buffer time. Allow up to an hour a day for your buffer – this gives you room to breathe!

For example in my online booking system I make sure there are 15 minutes between each client so that if someone is running late it doesn’t impact my other clients.

I also have two children at school and you never know when you’ll get a call saying one needs to come home for some reason! So always leave some wriggle room in your diary.

7. Eat your frogs first!

If you have difficult tasks or things that you have been putting off then schedule them in for first thing in your working day. This means that you get the unpleasant thing done first and you are then free to focus on the remaining activities in your day.

It is tempting to put these things off but that leads to stress because you know they are waiting for you so be brave – get them done first thing and then you can congratulate yourself on making progress and achieving your goals!

Once you have scheduled in your frogs then you can put in the other important tasks.

8. Set realistic deadlines

It is really easy to fall into the trap of over-promising and under-delivering. Even when you are your own boss – you still have to deliver projects on time and to deadlines. For example – I record monthly podcasts for Natural Health Radio and if I do not schedule the time into my diary to do this then it simply won’t get done. I was also guilty of under-estimating the time it takes to carry out this work. I now set aside one full day each month to do this work plus an extra half day for technical issues. This takes the pressure off because I know I have allowed more than enough time for the job, rather than trying to squeeze it all in to a morning before seeing 5 clients!

Look at what you have identified as important in your list and spend some time working out realistically how long it will take you to complete the work. Larger projects or tasks may need to be broken down into smaller steps so schedule time in your diary for each step. Let’s use my podcast work as an example: –

9:30am-11am – Write the content for the recording/draft the blog
11am-12pm – Record the audio content
12pm-1pm – Edit and polish the podcast for broadcast.
2pm-3pm – Upload the podcast and finalise the blog post
3pm-4pm – Contact Natural Health Radio with the details and schedule the promotional work for the show.

This is better than simply writing “Do Natural Health Radio Pod” in my diary – at least now I know that I have various tasks to do and I have allowed enough time to get them done. If I am ahead of schedule then that is wonderful and I can then perhaps tick something else off my list!

9. Schedule time in your day for email and social media

It is a fact of life that we are slaves to our mobile phones and the constant notification ping. It is therefore vital that you schedule in time to check these things. By creating a specified time in your day where you check your social media and email accounts, you stop losing time elsewhere in your day.

Did you know that each time you switch from one task to another it takes your brain 10 minutes to re-focus? That means if you are working on a client proposal or project and you then check your phone, you’ve lost 10 minutes in addition to the time you have spent looking at your phone. If you then go back to the project and then get side-tracked by an email with a web link to another site then you lose another 10 minutes of focus plus the time you take to look at the link! It is easy to see why we often find our to do list not getting done!

I used to think that I would lose clients if I did not answer their email or Facebook comment immediately. I would be working on the computer doing a blog post or updating online course materials and then my phone would ping. I would jump to check it and then answer the query straight away, often finding that I ended up in an email conversation which took an hour to complete!

I now set aside time to answer client emails each day. I allow myself 10 minutes Facebook checking at lunchtime when I am on a break and before I wrap up for the day I check my emails and respond to all the client enquiries that have come in. This gives me back control and I can end my day knowing that everyone has been answered.

10. Use technology to help you

There is so much technology out there it is easy to get overwhelmed but it is really useful to know what works for your business.

Take a look at your needs – what can you automate and what tools do you need? Where do you store client information and records, what about appointments, emails, website, back-ups and day to day activities? Use technology to help you rather than hinder you!

I have a background in IT so technology doesn’t scare me but at the same time I just want simple, easy to use and free (if possible) tools to help me run my business.

Look at where you are losing most time and start there – for me it was sorting out client appointments. People would text or email rather than ringing and it would often take 3 or 4 emails or texts before an appointment would be sorted out. I have now employed an online booking system for appointments so that clients can be directed there to make their bookings – this frees up my time and it empowers clients to choose appointments at any time. It also sends helpful reminders to clients so it cuts down on no-shows! Win Win!

I also used to feel pressured into answering private messages on Facebook outside of my working hours. I now use Facebook’s “away” option on my business page with an auto-responder so that people are made aware that I am not working at 3 a.m. and therefore can’t answer their message!

Has this helped?

I hope these pointers and ideas will help you to sort out your schedule and in turn make more time for your personal life. Let me know what you struggle with the most – answer a quick question here for me and I’ll use the responses to come up with more help and advice!

 

 

Imagine a life of deep inner peace!

Zen image to find inner peace

Imagine yourself filled with a deep sense of inner peace – every day!

We live in a world full of hustle and bustle, with constant demands for our attention. Our lives are busy, fast-paced and we often feel stressed out. Your challenge each day is to navigate life’s hurdles and try to make the best of what is thrown at you.

What if there was a better way?

What if you could learn how to deal with difficult emotions such as anger or sadness?

What if you could learn how to cope with your fears and worries in order to find a sense of inner peace?

It is so easy to take life for granted. We often focus so much on what we think we lack, that we forget to count our blessings. We sometimes get so wrapped up in the work that we do that we forget to live and we find ourselves on the daily grind – stuck on the hamster wheel of life, a slave to materialism and 21st century technology.

What if you could learn ways to find your joy each day and live in gratitude?

What about making yourself a priority and realising that you are your life’s work – you are NOT your job title – you are a human being not a human doing, so what about learning to simply BE?

How often do you judge other people or yourself?

When was the last time you carried out a random act of kindness for someone without expecting anything in return?

How wonderful would it be to be compassionate to yourself and others each day?

I am a Reiki Master Teacher, registered with The Reiki Guild UK, and I have written a short book on the subject of living in accordance with The Reiki Principles.

Mikao Usui, the founding father of modern day Reiki, tells us to live by these precepts: –

Just for today: –

do not anger
do not worry
be grateful
work hard (on yourself)
be kind to yourself and others

In my short book, called “The Reiki Solution“, I explore these concepts and help explain how you can use them to restore balance to your life. You do not need to know anything about Reiki in order to live by these principles. By working with them every day and by using some of the tips and techniques in my book, you can transform your life and find your inner bliss.

Here are some of the reviews it has received: –

Reiki Solution Reviews
Reviews of The Reiki Solution, available for purchase on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Why not give it a try?

Tell me about your struggles.

It is my mission to try and help as many people as possible to find their joy and live the life they love.

We all have our own personal story to tell and our own struggles each day. Tell me, what do you need the most help with in your day to day life?

Click here to let me know (it’s a 2 question survey) – thank you!

Namaste

The Art of Getting Stuff Done

Achieve your Goals

For years I have believed that multi-tasking was the way forward. I prided myself on being able to do lots of different things throughout the day and was sure that I was therefore being really productive.

From time to time that worked but when I really took a long hard look at what I was actually achieving each day I had little to show for my hard work.

The multi-tasker in me started back in the days when I was working in an IT environment. There was so much to do and so little time to get it done that you were expected to essentially multi-task your way through the day. I was also a busy mum with two young kids at the time so quite often you would find me working online in my home office trying to write a computer programme whilst having dinner cooking for the kids and watching them while they played.

Now as a self-employed business owner I understand that multi-tasking actually doesn’t work at all!

I keep a journal and on the last day of the year, Saturday 31st December 2016, I sat down to read through it like I do each year. I noticed how I would write down my intentions and the goals I wanted to achieve. I then noticed my distinct lack of focus throughout most of the year. My lack of disciplined action towards those goals.

It was only in the latter stages of 2016 that I realised multi-tasking and task-switching wasn’t working.

Did you know that each time you switch from one task to another that you actually lose 10 minutes? It takes your brain around 10 minutes to get into the task you are currently working on, so if you keep switching between tasks you are losing a lot of time each day.

I discovered that the optimum way to get stuff done was to do ONE thing at a time. It sounds really simple but it takes discipline!

I sat down towards the end of November last year and made a list of the things I would like to complete by the end of December and then I made a list of the things I wanted to get done for January-March 2017. I have learned over the years that if I plan too far ahead then I lose motivation. 2-3 months seems to be the optimum time frame for me when goal setting.

I prioritised the list and created mini-projects for each goal. Within each project I created tasks and then put them in my diary. I began to realise that if I did not schedule the tasks then they simply wouldn’t get done.

The first day was hard! I had decided to work on my new 30 Day Mind Diet programme and only that for the whole day. I knew that I also had other tasks in my list for other projects and that there would be interruptions from social media, emails and texts but I wanted to really focus on getting my set tasks done.

The interruptions were the worst bit – the temptation to stop working and check Facebook notifications or emails was tough! I had to actually turn off the sound on my phone and put it out of sight so I couldn’t see the flashing notification light.

As I wrote my new programme I kept having flashes of creativity and other ideas and the temptation to go and do something about those was over-powering as well. I had to rein myself in and simply write down any thoughts with the promise that I would look at them later.

I, thankfully, had the foresight in my daily planning to allow myself some breaks and some “switching” time. What I mean by that is that I scheduled in the time during my lunch break to check my social media, my emails and my texts. I gave myself permission to do that so that I wouldn’t sit wondering about them all afternoon!

What I found the hardest was to not immediately jump on to something that had come in by email or text. I had a few client enquiries by email so normally I would have dropped everything and got straight back to them. I decided that today would be different. I noted down the people I needed to get back to and I added a task to the end of my day – reply to client emails. I then got back to my original plan.

By the end of the first day of “single tasking” I had almost completed my entire programme. I was ecstatic and it really hammered it home to me that by focusing on one thing at a time you really can get a lot done. The feeling of satisfaction the next day when I finished the tasks on that project was amazing!

By waiting to the end of the day before replying to all the client emails meant that I was able to consolidate the time into half an hour and I answered everyone during this time. If I had stopped working and replied to each email as it came in I would have lost about 50 minutes of time!

So the art of getting stuff done is really simple – be disciplined. Stick to the task at hand until you complete it. If it will take several days to complete then break the task into smaller steps and schedule time for those in your diary.

Schedule time for social media, emails and text checking and at all other times turn off the notifications or remove the phone from your desk to help eliminate temptation.

If you have a mountain of tasks to do then start with the lowest hanging fruit. Get the quick stuff off your list first to give you a sense of achievement. That feeling of satisfaction when you tick things off your list really is a great motivator. Sometimes the lowest hanging fruit is also something you have been putting off for a while – if it needs done then get it done!

Schedule time for planning. If your tasks are not in your schedule then they simply won’t get done. You need to discipline yourself to diary things and then tackle them. Only you can do this – you know you are capable!

When tempted to try and multi-task or switch between tasks, remind yourself that you are losing 10 minutes of time each time you do that. So if you task switch 6 times in a day then you have lost an hour!

Ask yourself where you lose most of your time – for me it was switching between links on the web. I would be working on research for a new health programme and suddenly see a link to another site or another programme and I would then be watching a webinar and signing up for free training for something. Before I knew it 3 hours had passed and not a single bit of writing had been done for my own programme. Not good. I also know that I am still a bit of a slave to the Facebook notification light – I am working on that one!

If you need help in prioritising your tasks or if you would like help simply getting into the right mindset about moving from multi-tasking to single-tasking then please do get in touch!

I would love to hear from you – what works for you when you are working on achieving your goals? Where do you procrastinate or lose time? Is there anything I can maybe help you with?

You can leave a comment below or email me – debibarr@rocksnrituals.co.uk. You can also connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Let me know what goals you are setting for the first few months of 2017 and what steps you have taken so far!